A neat, light, small, UK made, in-line rotary vice. This is made by PWW Designs who have taken over this business and the vice designs from John Weaver, who has now retired.

The head uses a version of the ‘engineer’s clamp’, one fixed plate, the other attached with two screws. So, more or less, I use the front screw to pull the jaw tips together and hold a hook in place, then the rear screw to push the back-end of the jaws apart which brings the jaw-tips tighter together.

I have a lever behind the stem to turn the head. Rotary tension is adjusted either side of that lever, I can adjust the nuts so the head moves free, or so it has a little drag, either way the outer nut should be tight on the lever. Getting the drag set was unfamiliar and a little fiddly, but once set I had little or no reason to change it, so it is worth taking a little time to learn how to adjust that and try tying at different settings. This model of the Scottie Rotary has a brass screw fitted to the top of the bearing head; the idea there is I can tighten that to more or less lock the arm in place – particularly handy when tying doubles.

This sample came with a C-clamp, by far the lightest version, a pedestal version is available. If you expect to travel with this vice – size and weight make this an ideal travel vice – I’d opt for the clamp. The Scottie Rotary comes with a bobbin cradle, more than handy with this type of vice.
This type of vice has a screw close to the jaw tips, that screw is essential but ‘clutters’ the jaw-tips – getting my fingers around small hooks was not so easy, but was fine with the hook sizes I use more often. That said, PWW Design tell me they have a finer jaw set coming, designed for smaller hooks, to be supplied with this vice as standard – excellent idea!

I like the size and proportions of this vice. I rest the heel of my hand on the head, and my fingers are at the hook. The fit and finish is good – not fussy and not perfect, but sound and serviceable. The jaws are fixed so my hook is roughly on the axis of rotation – fine if you work with a modest range of hook sizes. Personally, this is a vice for medium and small – rather than big – flies or hooks. The jaw faces are flat, which suits smaller hooks, it needs a ‘pocket’ or notch near the jaw-tips if it is to handle large hooks. Then the price: this sells for £100 which seems like a good deal to me!